It is a record-setting kind of day for Indians center fielder Kenny Lofton as Cleveland walks off with a win in 13 innings, 12-11, over the Baltimore Orioles.
In front of a packed house at Jacobs Field, the game was filled with big innings. Cleveland scored four in the third to take a 5-2 lead, only to allow five runs in the next half inning. They responded to the run onslaught from Baltimore with three more to take an 8-7 lead and added three more in the sixth for what at the time appeared to be a safe 11-7 lead, until the O’s retaliated with four in the seventh to tie the game.
Lofton would lead the Indians on the day with four hits in eight plate appearances. He singled in the first, stole second, and scored on a Jim Thome single. He led off the third with a single, stole two bases, and scored when Omar Vizquel was picked off of first. A bunt single in the fourth put him on again and he would steal second and score on a Vizquel single.
He was retired in three straight at bats in the fifth, seventh, and ninth, but reached on a fielder’s choice in the seventh and stole second for his fifth swipe of the day. He walked in the eleventh and was stranded at second, but he became the hero in the 13th with a solo home run off of Mike Trombley to win it. Australian-born lefty Cameron Cairncross earned the win for the Indians, the only one he would get in his professional career. He was the first player born in Australia to play for the Indians and just the tenth in Major League history.
Lofton’s five steals matched the Indians’ club record, done by Alex Cole in 1990 and again in 1992. When Lofton scored in the first, it marked the 18th consecutive game that he had scored at least one run, tying the Major League record set by Red Rolfe of the New York Yankees in 1939.